Newism: Consumers lust after the new

Why more than ever, do consumers lust after the new? And why does that spell heaven or hell for brands? The ‘new’ has never been hotter, as the entire world, from emerging to mature economies, is now creating new products, services and experiences on a daily, if not hourly basis, in every B2C industry. Which moves ‘new’ from being a tired marketing ploy by ‘old’ brands (‘new and improved!’), to a genuine, exciting proposition for consumers.

NEWISM is creative destruction, hyper-competition, globalism, consumerism on steroids and a celebration of innovation, all in one. For brands, new and established, it boils down to capturing and holding consumers’ attention. While consumers’ attention spans might be shorter and shorter, the rewards can be instant and massive. And it’s not like you have any choice anyway.

Here are some forces propelling NEWISM into even more prominence:

1. Creative destruction may have an alarming ring to it, but it’s something to be celebrated (despite recessions, bank runs and collapsing currencies). With the volume and pace of innovation faster than ever, the ‘creation’ is outweighing the ‘destruction’. In fact the entire world, from emerging* to mature economies, is now creating new products, services and experiences on a daily, if not hourly basis, in every B2C industry. Which moves ‘new’ from being a tired marketing ploy by ‘old’ brands (‘new and improved!’), to a genuine, exciting proposition for consumers.

Show us a day in which a previously unheard of brand, or even individual, doesn’t release a new – and better and more convenient and more surprising – offering that promises a novel or improved experience. A global celebration of innovation, of the new, indeed.

2. Everything is getting faster and FSTR. The online world, with its relentless acceleration and amplification – of information, of excitement, of attention – is of course a major contributor to NEWISM.

Witness phenomena such as Instagram (10 million users in under a year) or Draw Something (35 million users in just 6 weeks!). And just to highlight NEWISM’s often-fleeting nature, many Draw Something users have now abandoned the app, no doubt off to seek something new.

Products too: witness Pebble raising over USD 10 million in 37 days on Kickstarter*. Indeed, any new innovation that taps pent-up demand will erupt and spread faster than ever. Taco Bell sold 100 million of its new Doritos Locos Tacos in 10 weeks, making it the chain’s fastest ever product launch.

3. The desire to tell interesting STATUS STORIES is further fuelling consumers’ never-ending lust for new experiences, especially acute in a world where so much of identity is expressed online.

Any experience that few others can or have had is a sure-fire status symbol. However, with more people than ever searching for ‘unique’ experiences, they are becoming harder-to-find and thus often expensive. The (cheaper, more practical) alternative therefore is for status-hungry consumers to resort to EXPERIENCE CRAMMING: collecting and mixing-and-matching as many, and as wide a variety, of new experiences as possible…..

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